Monday, March 31, 2014

The Spiritual Leader: What Every Wife Needs

This past week I conducted a survey with my closest friends. I asked my girl friends what were some qualities of a Godly husband that we as wives need in our lives. Obviously, we all crave the same things from our spouses because almost everyone responded with one or more of these three things:

•A Spiritual Leader

And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body. As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:21-33 NLT)

We want our husbands to want to take us to church! We want our husbands to want to pray over our families every day. We want our husbands to teach our children what the Word says. We want our husbands to be sold out to God! We want to see how much they love God!! And not only do we want these things, it is a man's duty and responsibility as a husband to do these things! It puts too much stress on a wife when she has to try to play the role of the spiritual leader of the home and it's because she isn't supposed to! It is a shame that there are so many women in this position. 

• A Provider

But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers. (1 Timothy 5:8 NLT)

Far too often these days, women are becoming the sole providers for the homes. More and more men are starting to think that it is okay to just sit on the couch at home and chill all day and work just a day or two (enough to say they have a job) while their wives work full time 8:00-5:00 jobs, five days a week. Then they expect their lady to come home and cook a full course meal, clean the house, tend to children, and take care of her husband's needs. Yes, God does expect wives to do these things, but a lazy husband is just unacceptable!!! You cannot lead your family spiritually if you aren't providing. God says that you might as well be a nonbeliever!! 

• A Protector

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith... (1 Peter 5:8, 9 NLT)

Wives are a gift from God and husbands need to know how to protect them! Husbands, read Ephesians 6:10-17 and put your armor on everyday! Cover your wife with the blood of Jesus as you leave out in the mornings! She is your princess so defend her honor if she should need it! 

So guys, I am asking you to take charge if your homes! Be the men of God that you were called to be! Take your family to church! Pray with them! Worship with them! Provide and protect!! A godly wife is a precious gift from God so cherish her.

This devotion was written by Maggi Sellers. I am extremely blessed to have such a Godly man in my life!!  Our marriage has not always been perfect, but God is constantly teaching us! We are a work in progress and we grow more and more in love with HIM and with each other every day:) 

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cry Out to the Lord

Cry Out to The Lord

OUT OF the depths have I cried to You, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice; let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. (Psalm 130:1, 2 AMP).

Have you ever just cried out to God? Just at that final point in your life where you can't do anything but cry out to Him? I have found myself at this point many many times. This Psalm is always so encouraging to me.

I wait for the Lord, I expectantly wait, and in His word do I hope. (Psalm 130:5 AMP)

Sometimes in life we come across these situations or seasons in life where the outcome can look bleak. It can seem to us that there really is no hope or there really is no point in trying anymore. But, don't be discouraged! Wait upon the Lord! Wait expectantly! Put your hope in His Word. When all else fails in life, we have His Word. The precious gift that God gave us. The written Word of God that can not lie.

Sometimes you may feel it is just you and Him against the world. And, that's ok because He is all you need!

O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is mercy and loving-kindness, and with Him is plenteous redemption. And He will redeem Israel from all their iniquities. (Psalm 130:7, 8 AMP)

With our hope in the Lord we have mercy, loving-kindness, and redemption. What more could we need. We have a promise that he will redeem us!

Whatever is going on in your life today change you focus right now to put your hope on the Word of God. The promises He gave us. Even though the ride might be bumpy we have the peace of knowing the end result. He is with you always. Working in your favor. Hope in the Word! Wait for Lord! Wait expectantly!

God Bless you! Thank you for taking time to read this devotion! I would love to minister to you or just talk with you! Contact me at catmalonesellers@yahoo.com




Saturday, March 29, 2014

Knock, Knock. Who's there?

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. (Revelation 3:20 NLT)

    Holy Spirit is always knocking at the door of our hearts and our spirits. He is always wanting to commune with us. It is literally as simple as just answering. A music pastor I was under one time put it like this. He said, "Holy Spirit is always speaking, the difference in whether or not we hear is whether or not we are listening". As common sense as that may seem, it's one of the hardest things to do at times. We all live in the reality of the day-to-day. The world doesn't stop just because we need to take a moment and answer the door and receive what Holy Spirit is saying. God understands this too! It's beautiful right?
    The best thing about it is Holy Spirit wants to speak to us. He wants us. Generally when you're knocking on the door to someone's house, you want to gain entry. Since we live in the south, 9 times out of 10 that means when that person answers the door we are having supper. Haha! I joke but you see my point. We are visiting. That's what Holy Spirit wants to do with us. He just wants to commune with us to give us direction, comfort, discernment, and anything else God wants to do. We are friends of the most hight God! More so than that, the most high God is constantly knocking at the door of our hearts and spirits  because He wants to visit us just as bad as we want to visit Him. What an amazing love! What an amazing Father! 
    So I encourage you this day to be extra attentive to the voice of the Holy Spirit. What is God telling you? Where is God leading you? Holy Spirit is always knocking. Let's answer and see what happens. :)

I love you guys!!!
Thanks for reading!!!

-Kyle Bolton-

Friday, March 28, 2014

Psalm 34 - For The Broken Hearted

This is a Psalm for the broken hearted. The ones so broken hearted  all they can do is say I don't understand God. The ones crying out because they are trying so hard and they are failing. Their flesh is failing. Their soul is failing. They cry out to him completely broken. This is for you.

Being broken hearted is a distinct feeling. There is really no way to describe it but just heart ripped in two, hurting / broken on the inside.  I have felt this way a handful of times in my life. A couple because of worldly love. The rest because of my failures in my journey of salvation. Nothing hurts worse. It is feeling you don't forget. I remember the first time I ever felt the pains of a broken heart. 9th grade :) over a boy. It hurt. I didn't know something that mainly delt with feelings and emotions could cause such hurt and physical pain. I remember just sobbing and sobbing and sobbing. I was hurt. On the inside.

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their distress and troubles. The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent. Many evils confront the [consistently] righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. (Psalm 34:17-20 AMP)

Sometimes as Christians we fail. Hard to believe I know. It happens all  of the time. {please don't be one of these Christians that think they are exempt from sin and failure, please} People mess up. The soul wins out against the spirit and before you know it you are headed down a path you didn't see taking. Maybe not every time you mess up you are completely heart broken before God. Of course you feel bad every time because the Holy Spirit wants you to know that was not the right action/thought, but to be heart broken before God is different.

To me heart broken before God means to be at this place that really has no words to describe but you just know you are there. Completely empty. Barren feeling. Broke. Hurt. Knowing that God is your only glimmer of hope. Heart broken.

There are many reasons why a Christian might be heart broken before God. I think Psalm 34 sums it up pretty well. Crushed with sorrow for sin. Humbly and thoroughly penitent {sorrow and regret for doing wrong}. Have you ever been there? I know I have.

If you ever find yourself in that place, that place of just brokenness, look up to who your help comes from! You have a promise! An anthem! Psalm 34 is for you!

When the righteous {if you are born again, that is you} cry for help The Lord hears and delivers {save, rescue, set free} them out of ALL their troubles and distress!

Praise God!

The Lord is close to those of a broken heart and saves those crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly have regret for doing wrong!

Many evils confront the consistently righteous, but The Lord delivers him out of them ALL!

It's ok ^ other people have struggled too! It says many evils confront {come at} the consistently righteous {the ones that try so hard all the time}. Look! The Lord has promised to rescue me and you from all of them!

He keeps all his bones, not one of them is broken!

This is such an awesome statement! Being heart broken is such a painful thing. We have a promise that nothing will be broken! No matter how much pain we go through He will protect our bones! Not one will be broken! It might feel like we are breaking in our sorrow but not one of our bones will be broken. When it is over we will be whole like we were before.

If you are currently heart broken before God let this be your encouragement. Let this be your anthem! Let these be the promises you hold on to!

I would love to minister to you if you are going through a difficult time or just need encouragement in general! God loves you! He hears your cries! You can contact me at catmalonesellers@yahoo.com I would be honored to hear from you!

Thanks for reading! Be blessed today!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Valuable to God

Psalms 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

Matt. 10:30-31 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

For some reason this morning an incident that occurred a couple of years ago has come to the forefront of my mind. I was waiting on a customer at work and she was regaling me with stories of her two new grandchildren. On and on she went. Finally she asked me if I had any grandchildren. I told her that I did not and in fact I did not have any children. Her response to me was "NO CHILDREN??? NO CHILDREN AT ALL???" She acted as if this was the worst thing in the world. By the time she left I was feeling as if I had no value at all. She left me feeling like since I am no ones grandmother, mother or wife that my life held no value.

But, the Word of God tells me something different!! His Word says that I am "fearfully and wonderfully made". I am more valuable to Him than a flock of sparrows. In Jeremiah it says that His plans for me are good!!! These are not just words about me!!! These are words about you too!!!! So, if today you are feeling like this world sees no value in you, remember what your Father in heaven says about you!!!!

This devotion was written from the heart of Beth Reed. I pray that it has encouraged you today. I would love to hear from you.
email - beffie221@gmail.com
Facebook - Beth Reed
Twitter and Instagram - beffie221

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Don't Drift!

Proverbs 4:27 "Do not turn to the right or the left. Keep your foot from evil." 

Do you feel like you are drifting away from God? Have you lost your focus & the passion you once had for Jesus? Maybe you feel like your priorities are out of order & you are no longer committed to serving The Lord. 
You may have something going on in your life, but you HAVE to put God first!! Once we start drifting from Him, it will only get easier. The devil will find whatever reason he can to come between you & God. He starts tempting you & you slowly start falling into his trap. Whether you think it or not, the beginning of destruction starts with missing worship. The devil knows that once he gets you away from hearing God's word, then it's a piece of cake. Once you miss one service there will be something else come up the next week. One Sunday turns into Wednesday, then before you know it you have missed out on a whole month. 
MISSING CHURCH IS A BIG DEAL!!! That's where our feeding from The Lord starts, we take what He gives us on Sunday & we use it during the week. We read, pray, & worship at home & work to uplift ourselves when we are away from the Lord's house, don't fall into the devils trap & let him win you over. Make God your #1 priority & stay committed to Him!!

This devo was written by Kasey Brown   

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

We Are Free Indeed

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13


     Since my beautiful wife is visiting family in Chicago on her spring break, I will be posting her blog today as she is traveling. You guys have the pleasure of getting not one but TWO blogs from me, Kyle Bolton, this week. ;) HAHA!
     Theres a couple of things in this verse I would like to point out. Number one, we have been called into freedom. Not only did our savior make us free when he took our sin and shame to the cross, but He called us to live in freedom. The english definition of the word called means to command or request to come; to summon. The hebrew word for call is qara (kaw-raw), meaning to proclaim, to speak, or to summon, to name a few. Between the English and the Hebrew there is no difference between the definition of the word. Part of being made free is, in turn, being called to live a free life. We are not called to live within the bondage of our sin. Sure we are all born into a sinful nature, but the blood of Jesus on our lives acts just like the blood of the spotless lamb on the door frames of the children of Israel during their bondage in Egypt. Death passes over us just as it did them. Death cannot touch us. Sin cannot hold us and the enemy has no rightful foothold in our lives. We are overcomers. We have the authority over the enemy. We are victorious. We are free! Through Jesus death on the cross, our debt was paid and we were called into freedom. 
     The second thing I would like to point out is the stipulation that Paul wrote to the Galatian church. He specifically states for us to not use our freedom for our own sinful nature. You see our freedom is not based on the ability to do whatever we want when we want. Our freedom is our ability to work in the spirit for the edification of the church and to reach the lost because we have been pardoned of our sin. We have the freedom to boldly approach the Father and operate within the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We have the freedom to boldly repent of our sins because we have fallen short and receive the forgiveness given freely to us by Jesus. We have this freedom because our actions do not dictate our "worth" for salvation. We did not save ourselves. We fell at the feet of a merciful savior and received our salvation that was paid for on the cross. Our freedom is not our right to do whatever we want under the notion that "God will forgive me for it". That is why Paul told us to use our freedom to serve one another. We are not perfect. I think we all know that. However, that doesn't mean that we are bound by our imperfections. We are to use our freedom to lift one another up, to operate in the gifts of the spirit, to show the world that we are not more perfect than they are.
     We are simply being led by the Holy Spirit day-to-day. We all fall short. We all have faults. We are simply cracked pots. What happens, however, when you put a candle in the cracked pot? The light shines through. God is going to be glorified if our hearts are in the right place. We are called to live in freedom not in bondage. We must use the freedom that we have to lead other people to freedom. Whether it's someone living in sin or sister so-and-so that battles depression, we are to love them as Christ loves us and show them the true and unbiased freedom we have in Christ. 
      For those who may be struggling with living in freedom in our church or reading this blog, I speak life into you. You are an overcomer and you are called into freedom by the one and only living God. I rebuke the attack of the enemy on your life. Satan you have no power. You cannot kill what you didn't create. You have no rightful place in the life of the person reading this blog right now. I cancel your agendas and I cast you back to the pits of Hell where you belong. Holy Spirit I pray that you fall and confirm everything that I just prayed and move mightily in the life of whoever is reading this blog! We agree that when Jesus said it is finished that indeed it is finished. You are FREE and I declare that into your life right now. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed!

Thanks for reading!!!
I love you guys!!!

-Kyle Bolton-


Monday, March 24, 2014

The Virtuous Wife (from the husband's point of view)

Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. (Proverbs 31:10-12 NLT)

More and more these days we as wives are getting a bad reputation. The media and reality tv have twisted the idea of what a wife is supposed to be. Even as Christian wives we are constantly nagging and whining at our husbands. We demand respect from them, yet we do not respect them ourselves. We try to rule the roost even though that is not the way God ordained a marriage. We as Christian wives need to start setting a better Godly example to everyone around us! 

When I was first thinking about being better wife and what I should be doing, the Holy Spirit prompted me to ask my husband what were the things he needed from me as a wife. He really opened my eyes and even stepped on my toes a little with some of his answers, but the more I read in the Word, the more his answers lined up! So, here we go! 

Qualities of a Virtuous Wife from a Husband's Point of View:
• She keeps her husband covered in prayer.
• She makes sure that God comes first in the home.
• She is madly in love with Jesus, therefore reflecting that love to her husband. 
• She makes her husband feel appreciated.
• She takes care of the things that her husband has worked so hard to provide for. That being said, she keeps her house tidy and her vehicle cleaned up!)
• She is respectful of everyone including her husband. She is also not over boisterous! 
• She is not quick-tempered, but she administers grace and patience to all.
• She never raises her voice, but her words are gentle and kind even when having to reprimand. (Proverbs 31:26) 
• She has a very gentle and quiet spirit. 
• She lets her husband be the boss; she doesn't try to "wear the pants" in the marriage. 
• She is fully dedicated to her husband and to his goals in life. 
• She is sexually submissive (ladies, we shouldn't be faking a headache to get out if pleasing our man!)
• She accepts her husbands authority and therefore does not nag or complain!
• She isn't a slob, but isn't over concerned with her outward appearance! A sweet spirit is more beautiful than any make up! 
• She is an encourager to her husband! 
• She brings him only happiness and no sadness!


In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives. Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They put their trust in God and accepted the authority of their husbands. For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do. (1 Peter 3:1-6 NLT)

Thank you for reading! This devo was written by Maggi Sellers with a little insight from Josh Sellers:)

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Called Out!


“No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light. (Luke 8:16 NKJV)

We've all heard this verse. And chances are that you've probably sang the hymn "This little light of mine...." It is familiar. But I wouldn't say it's old news or played out. There's a reason this verse is so well known. I believe two of those reasons are that it is such a simple concept to grasp and it is so very, very true!

It can be hard as Christians walk through our daily lives, to remember all that we are in Christ. It is all too easy to get caught up in situations and persuaded by non-Christian people to allow ourselves to be overcome by emotion and act in an un-Christian manner. However, don't  misunderstand me when I say it can be easy for this to happen. While it can be easy, this is still no excuse. Yes, we all fall short. However, we as Christians are suppose to be Christ to the world. If we make it our habit to act unbecoming, what kind of example are we being? Certainly not the example of Christ.

1 Peter 2:9 says: But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; How awesome?! We are His CHOSEN generation. A HOLY nation! HIS OWN special people! We are suppose to show the world the light of Christ! We have been called out of the darkness that the rest of the world is still in! We are His lamp stand!

We can not allow ourselves to be deceived by the devil and tricked into being bad examples of Jesus! We have the power and authority to resist the devil! And we have been called by the Almighty God of the universe to do so! So next time you're in a situation and you feel your emotions about to overtake you; walk away. Next time you are hanging out with friends and there is temptations there that cause you the slightest bit of conviction; walk away. Next time the crowd you're in starts throwing the metaphorical stones or even the literal ones; drop the stones and walk away. It may not seem like much, but being that first ray of light in these situations can cause the light in others to come beaming through. After all, it only takes one candle to cause ALL surrounding darkness to flee!

I hope this devotion has blessed you in some way! If you would like prayer or just to talk about this subject please feel free to email me atchassidyhester@gmail.com

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Do You Know Your Promises?

Do you know the promises of God? Did you know there are promises? If you are a Christian there are tons and tons of promises in the Word of God. They are all for you every last one of them!

Psalm 103 lists some of your benefits from God!

He forgives all your sin! Everyone,

He heals all your diseases! Everyone.

He redeems your life from the pit!

He crowns you with faithful love and compassion!

He satisfies you with goodness!

Your youth is renewed like the eagle!

God makes everything come out right; he puts victims back on their feet.

He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.

As far as sunrise is from sunset, he has separated us from our sins.

Those are some life changing promises!

Keep these in your mind today! Let your mind meditate on them and let them become alive to you!

Every promise is for you! If it is written in the Word you can write it in your heart!

It is a done deal, praise God!

Thanks for reading! I would love to talk with you about the promises of God! Connect with me at catmalonesellers@yahoo.com

God Bless you! Receive the promises of God today!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Being Still

We were sitting on the front porch that day, just me and that girl of mine. She was only 11 at the time, and we were enjoying the coolness of the late afternoon that summer. We were painting nails and toenails and having girl time.
It landed on her leg, her thigh to be exact. If she had thought first, she wouldn't have done anything and he would've went on his way I'm sure. But she didn't. Instead of shooing it away, she smacked her hand right down on it; driving the stinger deep down into her. She looked at me, eyes wide, and then she screamed.
She would not let go. The wasp was still under her hand, the stinger still stinging, and her jumping, and this momma is now yelling, "Let go! Be still!"

I told her she had to be still so I could get the stinger out. She was in pain and it was already swelling and she was not very trusting of me at the moment, so I had to physically hold her still so she would calm enough so I could remove it gently. She took deep breaths, stilled, and let me remove it .

And isn't that just like us as Christians sometimes? We go through stings in life and we want to instantly get wide eyed, frantic, pace the floors, and scream. Sometimes we  won't let go of what's causing that sting, sometimes driving it down even further, and then we wonder why it hurts so bad?

And all along He's saying:

Be still, and know that I am God.- Psalm 46:10
Be still and know He has a plan for you, be still and know the very thing that's causing that sting in your life?  He'll remove it, you just need to trust Him.  Be still and let Him fight the battle for you (Exodus 14:14) It's hard to hear instruction when you're flailing about, when you're trying to take things into your own hands.
When the storms are raging in your life, there's no use in you trying to calm them- only He can. ( Mark 4:39)

And the reason He wants us to be still?  So in the calmness we can have the peace only He can give. So in the quietness of our souls, we can hear Him clearly telling us to "let go" and trust Him to get the stinger out.

This devotional was written from the heart of Melanie Evans. I also write on my personal blog www.aheartlikehers.com . I pray  this devotional blesses you. Grace to you, in Jesus' name.

Which question will you answer?

Gen. 3:1 The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

Gen. 3:9 Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”




Did God really say....?

This is the first question in The Bible. Satan used it to put doubt in the mind of Eve about the words that God had spoken to her and Adam in the garden. I believe it's still one of his favorite tactics! He doesn't want us to take hold of God's word. Whether it's the written word or a word that we know that God has given to us personally, satan wants to place doubt in us to keep us from God's plan for our life. He is crafty and cunning! His job is to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10)

Many of us will listen to this question and many others that satan whispers to us. Often all it takes is that one seed of doubt and we are on the wrong path and out of God's will and plan for our life. But, isn't it great to know that God is always there calling out to us? No matter how far off course we get He will come looking for us. Just as He did when Adam and Eve tried to hide from Him after they had sinned, He will come calling to us "Where are you?"

This devotion is written from the heart of Beth Reed. I would love to hear from you.
email - beffie221@gmail.com
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Twitter and Instagram - beffie221


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

HIS Amazing Love


John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."


God's love for us is far too powerful to comprehend. He loved us enough to send His son to die for our sins!! He loved us enough to give us the gift of eternal life!! That is amazing love & we ALL have that from Him. God loves each & every one of us, no matter what we have done. We all make mistakes, we all sin, & we all fall short. No one is perfect! He is a forgiving God. If we seek His love, we will find it!! What if we all loved Him as much as He loves us? What if we loved one another the way He loves us? What kind of world would we live in? Today, let's take the time to think about this love, & appreciate His love for us!! Let's take a stand to love another, but most importantly, let's love HIM the way He loves us!! 

This devo was written by Kasey Brown 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Stop Hitting Snooze

"Therefore He says: Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light."
Ephesians 5:14


     Most days, my snooze button is the only thing I like in the mornings. I find myself setting my alarm earlier than is absolutely necessary simply so I can hit "SNOOZE." I will hear the morning chimes ringing from my phone, slide my snooze bar up, and close my eyes again, curling up under the comfort of warmth and darkness. All I want is to shut out the world and sleep for at least ten more minutes. 

     I find, though, that the luxury of my snooze button gets me in trouble. Those extra ten minutes turn into fifteen or twenty, or sometimes, I will turn my alarm off and in my grogginess, completely forget I didn't set the snooze. On those mornings, I am in a rush, nothing seems to go right, and I leave the house in a bad mood and worried that I won't make it to work on time. Instead of simply getting up when my alarm goes off, I indulge, and then my oversleeping causes me great distress. 

     Are you an oversleeping Christian? Are you causing yourself and others spiritual distress because you refuse to get out of be on time? God is sounding an alarm. All across the world, He is waking people, drawing them to Him, and preparing them for spiritual warfare. He is opening their eyes to problems they've never seen before and dispatching them to be solutions in hopeless situations. All around us, there is work to be done for the Kingdom, and our Father is trying to bring us out of our sleep.

     How are we responding? Are we reaching for the snooze button, satisfied with remaining in darkness? Are we grumbling at Him for shaking us out of our slumber? Do we roll over and ignore His wakeup call? 

     Ephesians 5:8-14 reminds us of the call God is sending out: "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth, finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore, He says, 'Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.'"

     Just as the Word tells us, no fruitfulness will come from darkness. We cannot keep ourselves enveloped in the blankets of night and expect to be an effective body of Christ who heals the sick, loves the broken, and leads the lost in Jesus's name. The people around you cannot wait another day for you to wake up, get out of bed, put on the armor of God, and bring them the truth of who He is. There are people who need to know what you know, who need to experience what you've experienced, and God is pleading with you to wake up and share it with them! 

     Rise and shine you feet of Jesus, you arms of Jesus, you heart of Jesus. Stop hitting your spiritual snooze buttons. Stop asking God to give you ten more minutes. Wake up, and Christ will give you the light you need to see and the light you need to share. 


There will be nothing more rewarding in your walk with God than to answer His wakeup call without hesitance. I pray today that you respond to the alarm with a heart that is ready to rise and be who God called you to be.  - Megan 
 forsythml@gmail.com
@MeganFBolton (Twitter)
Megan Forsyth Bolton (Facebook)
http://penchantforbeauty.blogspot.com 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Remaining Faithful

After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. (Job 42:10 NIV)

In the book of Job, satan goes up to a Heavenly Council meeting. God asks him what he has been been up to and he answers by saying that he has been patrolling the earth and watching everything that has been going on.Then God asks him if he had ever noticed Job. Now, Job was the most blameless man of his time. He feared God and stayed away from all things evil. He was very rich and prosperous! Satan said that he had noticed him, but no wonder he remained so faithful because God was always watching out for him and protected him! He had blessed him and made him extremely rich! But if you take all of that away, then what?? Would he still fear God?? Would he still remain faithful?? Well, The Lord allowed Satan to attack Job. He said he could do anything he wanted to except kill him. So he did! He destroyed Job's whole family and his home! He killed all of children and caused him to be covered in leprosy! All of this made Job curse the day he was born, but he NEVER turned his back in God!

A lot of us think that just because we live a perfect Christian life we are protected from attacks of the enemy! The message of Job paints a pretty clear picture that this is not the case!! God allows things to happen to make us realize how much we really need him! But we have to stay faithful!! When the enemy attacks we don't need to wallow around in our self pity, but we need to get on our knees and in the word and rely on God to bring us through. God is capable of rescuing us!!  

The end of Job is quite beautiful! God does come to the rescue! He restores everything that the devil destroyed!! He wants to do that for you too!! Satan wants nothing more than for us to deny God and turn our backs on him, but if we stay faithful God will restore us!!! We just have to keep our eyes on HIM!! 

Maggi Sellers

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Your Will Lord, Not Mine!

Teach me to do thy will; For thou art my God: Thy Spirit is good; Lead me in the land of uprightness. (Psalm 143:10 ASV)

Another of You-version's "verses of the day"! This is kind of funny, and extremely awesome! I was thinking of this topic when I was trying to figure out what I was going to write about for my devotion for today. But I quickly put it out of my mind because I know I've already written about this subject before. The funny thing was when I went to my bible app to find inspiration in the Word, the verse for today was on the subject I had been thinking about. Which was "God's will"! So I decided it must have been His will for me to write about this tonight.

I don't suppose one can say too much about the will of God. After all His ways are higher than our ways and His will is perfect!

The above verse is the everyday cry of my spirit, "Teach me Your will oh God! You are so good and I want so much to please You!" That should be our aim as Christians, to remain in His will. If only more of us did. Notice, I did say "us". Because while it is the cry of spirit to do these things, I often find myself trying to do things "my" way; my sloppy, silly, childish, foolish, shamefully-imperfect way. I know God's will and His ways are flawless. But I, all too often, forget that I truly have no idea what I'm doing in this life! That is, when I try to do things without Him!

Seek God's face in everything you do! Work on nothing more than pleasing Him, and NO ONE but Him! Such a simple logic that is so hard for us to follow. But we must try harder to please God! And in pleasing Him we will find that other things in our lives will work out as well! When you put God first, the other parts of your life will follow in perfect unison! So join me today in making the goal of your everyday to please God and follow His perfect will!

Thank you for reading my Devo today! I hope it blessed you in some way! If you need or want to contact me for any reason email me atchassidyhester@gmail.com

Friday, March 14, 2014

Talk about life right?

       Being a music geek, sometimes I enjoy sharing the revelations I get from certain songs. So instead of using a bible verse, I'm going to use the lyrics of one of my favorite worship songs as the foundation for my blog. This is part of the song "Love Came Down" by Bethel.


"If my heart is overwhelmed
and I cannot hear your voice
I'll hold on to what is true
Though I cannot see
If the storms of life they come
and the road ahead gets steep
I will lift these hands in faith
I will believe"

         The lyrics themselves are very powerful. There is really nothing else that needs to be said because so much already has been in those few short lines. This is what I have received from this song. I hope it will be of some encouragement.
          Life happens. You can't stop it. You can't prevent it. You just have to live it. Whatever may come, we just have to keep walking and remain faithful. There's not always going to be an explanation and sometimes we are going to be completely in the dark. Something may happen completely unexpected like a new promotion at work, or the dreadful alternative of being laid off. Whatever the case, we all have to walk through this thing called life.
          Through the good and the bad, the ups and the downs, through the mountains and valleys, we must remember to remain faithful to our Father no matter what "hand" life has dealt us. Sometimes that is much easier said than done. Believe me when I say I understand. For those of you reading that may not know, my mother passed away December 29th, 2013. Talk about life right? She was only 46 years old! I walked in on her December 26th at around 3:50pm and found her unresponsive and without a pulse. The paramedics came to the scene and, to my momentary relief, got her back. From there, the next three days were a struggle to find out what was wrong and if she would make it. One doctor would be semi-optimistic, the other would tell us to think about "the next step". We did figure out she had contracted a new strain of the Influenza Virus, Influenza B. That shut her kidneys down because her immune system was so low. Combined also with extensive CPR from several attempts to resuscitate her, her brain swelled. That is what happened to my mother. You see her immune system was so low because she figured out she had severe sleep apnea. Well after her sleep study she got a cpap  machine and things were looking better. She was regaining color, she had more energy, and we thought she was on an uphill. Then out of nowhere, she's gone.
           My mom never audibly heard me say goodbye or heard me tell her how much I love her. I never got to tell her one last time how awesome she was. She'll never see her grand babies. She'll never be "Granna" like she wanted to be called oh so badly. Granted, these are all physical things. I guess the proper way to say it is I WILL never get to send my son or daughter to "Grannas" house. Nor will I GET to see her face when I bring my newborn into the waiting room for the very first time. Honestly, mom probably doesn't even care right now. HA! She's dancing and rejoicing with Jesus. She's healed! She's not sick or anything because I know she is in Heaven. I would still give anything to be able to experience the rest of my life with her in it. Talk about life right?   
            I can't be angry with God for bringing my mom home. It's like I said, she's healed! I don't understand though. I don't understand why everyone else gets to have a mom that lives until she's in her 80's and I can't. I'm just being transparent with you guys. However, I can't lose faith. God didn't infect my mother with disease. In fact, If God gave mom the choice I know she chose heaven. 
            Things happen and life gets in the way. I don't have a divine revelation from God as to why this happened. I have no Holy Spirit insight. I'm just walking by faith day to day and the healing process has already begun because I refuse to let the enemy attempt to turn me away from God. When the going gets tough, I keep walking. I keep pushing forward. I lift my hands in surrender and believe in what the word of God says. 
            As christians, when the good things happen we must remain faithful to God. When the bad things happen, we must STILL remain faithful. When my heart is overwhelmed and I cannot hear your voice. I'll hold onto what is true though I cannot see. God I don't know whats going on, but I know YOU. I will lean on you to take me through this time in my life. When the storms of life they come and the road ahead gets steep. I will lift these hands in faith. I will believe. Whatever this is Father, I am going to walk through this with hands lifted high in surrender to you. I have faith that you will bring me through this. That verse is the perfect outline of completely surrendering you circumstance to God and continuing to move forward. The enemy wants to use these circumstances against us. However, WE MUST remain faithful to our Father and continue to walk even in our lack of understanding. We believe in you Father! We will follow you no matter what!

Thanks for reading!!! 
I love you guys!!!

-Kyle Bolton-   

Are you Hydrated?

"Push fluids" are always his orders.

 Whenever someone calls or comes in sick to our office with a stomach virus, that's always the first order of treatment from the doctor I work for.

 "Push fluids" (drink water, and a lot of it)

 Of course the obvious reason is because of the risk of dehydration. When our body loses water either by sweat from exertion, loss of fluids through illness, or just simply not drinking enough, we will become dehydrated if we don't replenish what we have lost. Dehydration can wreak havoc on your body and if left unchecked can cause your organs to shut down and lead to death.

 Because water is our life-line in these physical bodies.

An extremely healthy person could only live 3-5 days without it, and that's dependent on conditions they're in, and if they don't exert themselves at all.

 And in most cases, dehydration can be avoided if only we took the necessary steps to hydrate ourselves. We must replenish, on a daily basis, it's a never ending cycle, if we want to stay healthy. Thirst, is the first sign that we need it.

And just as the body gets thirsty, so does the soul. And the only way to quinch the soul's thirst is to drink from Jesus. When the soul is cracked and parched from lack of water from the Well of life, which is Jesus, the only way to survive is drink His water He gives so freely.
Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. John 7:37-38
Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. John 4:13-14
And we can drink of the things of this world and our soul will always be thirsty, always searching for more, always parched or we can drink of Jesus and let Him heal the cracks, let Him quench the thirst forever, rehydrate the soul.

 And just as we must replenish our bodies daily with fluids, so we should replenish our souls daily with Jesus, letting Him well up in us, so the living water He gives will flow from us.

 When we stop going to the Well, we become weak in our flesh. When we stop going to the Well, the spirit gets dehydrated, when we stop going to the Well we become like the man who's lost in the desert and drinks the stagnate water- he reaches for what looks good but it only makes him sicker.

So how do we stay hydrated?

We go to Him in prayer, we read His Words daily, because His Words are the spring of water that will rise up in us and only in Him will we have eternal life, and thirst no more.


Thank you for taking time to read this devotional. I pray it encourages you to seek Jesus and rely on Him during the "dehydrated" seasons of your life. Grace to you, in His precious Name.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

You want me to do what????

In my LifeGroup we have been studying women of the Bible and how we can relate the things they went through to our lives today. When I think back over the ones we have studied so far it occurred to me that each one of them was required of God to do something extremely difficult. There's ..........

Rebekah: Who left her home and family to become the wife of Isaac, a man she did not know.
(Gen. 24 and 25:19-34)

Leah: A woman who because of the deceptive act of her father was married to Jacob a man who really wanted her younger sister.
(Gen. 29 and 30:1-24)

Hannah: A woman who prayed and sought The Lord for many years for a child and when He answered, she gave that child back to The Lord.
(1 Sam. 1:1-20)

Abigail: A woman who was put in the middle of a conflict between her husband Nabal and David.
(1 Sam. 25:1-39)

Now, before we start thinking that it's only the ladies that are asked to do hard things, there is Hosea, a prophet who was instructed to not only marry Gomer a prostitute but to take her back after she had abandoned him and their three children.

All through out The Word of God we see stories just like these. Stories of ordinary people whom God has called to go out of their comfort zone. Why then are we surprised when He requires us to do the same??? Maybe not on the same scale BUT if it's not in your normal character it is hard.

A few months ago He led me to take a step that was WAY out of my comfort zone. You see, there is a person very dear to my heart and The Lord lead me to write a letter that not only included my most heartfelt feelings, but also some words that person really needed to hear. Now, everyone that knows me can tell you this is not me. However, when you (as a sweet lady at church says) "know that you know, that you know something deep down in your knower" you must be faithful to do what He has instructed. I didn't just come up with this on my own it was truly Holy Spirit lead. I had really been struggling with a situation and it was weighing very heavy on me. One evening on the way home from work I knew that The Lord was telling me to just pray and fast about it. The next day was Saturday and I got up early and went to Saturday morning prayer at church. After prayer, there is ALWAYS a stop by the group at Jack's for breakfast. This particular Saturday I just went back home. I got out my Bible and began to just read in Psalms and Proverbs like I do when I just really don't know where else to read. No TV. No radio. No computer. Just me and God's Word. A few hours went by and I started to get sleepy. I fought it for awhile but soon there was no fighting. So, I stretched out on my couch and THE MOMENT my head hit the pillow all the things that needed to be said in this letter started coming to me. Six pages later it was all out there. I knew on Sunday that my pastor was supposed to pray over it but I didn't bother him because it was a very busy Sunday at AwakeningLife. I just could not shake that feeling.  On Monday I called Pastor Ant and just as he always will  he came right to my work and prayed over the letter and it went right in the mail. Now, I would like to tell you that this letter has made a difference in my life and the person's who received it. But I can only tell you half the story. 5 months have gone by and they have never acknowledged that they received it. I see them on a weekly basis and it's like nothing is different. Being a logical thinking person I can analyze this nine ways to Sunday and sometimes I do!!! I would also like to tell you that I no longer struggle with the situation but I do. However, I know that I did what I was asked of my Heavenly Father and that I can live with no regrets when it comes to that. I pray daily that I will get a reply or that I will have peace if I never do.

If you have read any of my past devotions you know that my most heartfelt desire is to find that person that God has for me. That is what this devotion is all about.

 If you know that God is telling you to do something that is out of your comfort zone just know that your not alone. I pray this devotion will inspire someone who is struggling with taking that step. Remember the words of Rom.8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

This devotion was written from the heart of Beth Reed. I would love to hear your comments.
email - beffie221@gmail.com
FaceBook - Beth Reed
Twitter & Instagram - beffie221


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Setting a Godly Example for Others

"By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles" Matthew 7:16 

How can we expect to bring others to Christ if we aren't shining His light? If we always complain & are unhappy then that doesn't make anyone want to live a Christian life? They see us unhappy, sad, depressed, & mad, & think "Who wants to live for Jesus if that's the way it makes you feel?". The devil wants to steal our joy & happiness. We have to stand up to him & never back down. He will do anything to keep others away from Christ. We, as Christians, can not let this happen. We have to show others that even if our life isn't perfect at the moment, we still have Jesus. We will look through the hard times & turn it into a time to rejoice. Of course, I know, we all have our times we are upset & stressed, but we have to remember God will see us through. We have to let go & let Him handle it. God gave me these words not only for others, but mainly myself. I am so hard on myself when it comes to being a Christian, being a mom, being a wife, my looks, my weight, etc. I have times I feel like I'm not good enough & I'm failing at everything. The devil does all he can to destroy me & sadly it works pretty often. Today I will make a resolution to be the Christian that God wants wants me to be. The one who doesn't let the devil steal her joy & happiness. The one who's light shines for everyone to see how great it is to live for Jesus Christ. We all need to think about the example we are setting for others around us. Is our example leading someone to Jesus or turning them away? 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Nature's Wake Up Call

All mountains and hills, fruit trees and cedars,
 every wild and tame animal, all reptiles and birds, 
come praise the Lord!
All creation, come praise the name of the Lord.
Praise His name alone.
The glory of God is greater than Heaven and Earth.
Psalm 148:9-10, 13 (CEV)




     When I woke up yesterday morning, I heard the sweetest sound. It was 5:30 in the morning, but birds were singing outside my window. When I left for work at 7:00, I was even more amazed at the beauty of their choruses, shockingly bright in my sleepy ears. The past few weeks have been cold, wet, and dreary with the Earth still in hibernation, but yesterday seemed to me to be nature's dramatic re-entry into life. 

     Isn't it amazing to think about all our God planned and achieved in a few words? When He created the Earth, He merely spoke and knew exactly what He was bringing forward: a sun that hides to reveal a moon, animals that camp out waiting for the first fresh shoots of grass to spring out of the ground, trees whose leaves sacrifice themselves to conserve energy in the winter. When we stop to observe the world around us and really pay attention, it truly is awe-inspiring how God so intricately shaped the world. 

     In the Book of Psalms, we see multiple accounts of the splendor of nature and are reminded that everything on Earth was created to glorify God. When we see bees collecting pollen, hear woodpeckers preparing their homes, and smell the new blooms of daffodils bursting from their green stalks, we see all creation praising the name of the Most High God simply by doing exactly what God created them to do. 

     Today when you walk outside (and oh, please take the chance to walk outside,) pay attention to the Earth's buzzing. Notice what all of creation is doing. Realize that what you are hearing, smelling, and seeing are all representations of the astounding glory of God. Take a moment to honor the greatness of our Lord by enjoying what He has created. You will be amazed at how overwhelmingly gorgeous His handiwork can be.

Monday, March 10, 2014

I am My Beloved's and My Beloved is Mine!


I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine; he browses among the lilies. (Song of Solomon 6:3 NIV)

Just recently Pastor Ant did a sermon series on the Song of Solomon called Love Story. During the series I became completely engulfed in studying the book myself. Before when I had read it, I could never understand it! Even when I would read  it out the Message, I couldn't get anything that it was saying. But after the four week series God really opened my eyes and the Holy Spirit showed me what it was all about. 

We open up with a girl talking with her friends about how much she adores Solomon. She is completely head over heels for him and he feels the same way about her! But then she starts feeling insecure because she thinks she isn't pretty enough for him but Solomon thinks she is beautiful and perfect and spotless and he wants to marry her! 

The Holy Spirit showed me that this is exactly how Jesus loves us! 
Even though we are filthy sinners and we don't think that we are good enough for Him, He wants us!! He doesn't see our ugliness. All He sees is the blood that He shed for us and how we are made righteous and clean through Him! We are his perfect bride! His desire is only for us (Song of Solomon 7:10)!!! He's calling to us saying "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine."

This devo was written from the heart of Maggi Sellers. You can follow me on Insta and twitter! I look forward to your comments! 


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Be Bold in Ministry

Then I heard a voice. It said "Son of man stand up I have something to say to you."

Ezekiel 1

The book of Ezekiel is so powerful! If you have never read it you should dive in and study it! When I read it I can't help to read it as instructions to ministry. Ezekiel was a prophet that saw the Glory of God. God spoke with him and gave him instructions and visions for him to relay to the Israelites.

He had a really tough job assignment and God gave him instructions on how to minister his word.

Tell them, ‘This is the Message of God, the Master.’ They are a defiant bunch. Whether or not they listen, at least they’ll know that a prophet’s been here. But don’t be afraid of them, son of man, and don’t be afraid of anything they say. Don’t be afraid when living among them is like stepping on thorns or finding scorpions in your bed. Don’t be afraid of their mean words or their hard looks. They’re a bunch of rebels. Your job is to speak to them. Whether they listen is not your concern. They’re hardened rebels.

Ezekiel 2

We can learn and apply so much from this. Don't ever be mundane when it comes to the ministry of the Lord. Whether you think they will receive it or not if God has spoken to you about it it is your job to speak to them. God says do not be afraid of them. God says don't be afraid of their mean words or hard looks.

We have to be sensitive to the Spirit of God working and revealing in our lives. Don't ever brush off the urging or warning of the Holy Spirit. Also never be superficial with the Holy Spirit and say it is Him when you really haven't heard from Him. Be bold in your ministry but also make sure you are truly being led by the Holy Spirit!

Whenever you hear me say something, warn them for me. If I say to the wicked, ‘You are going to die,’ and you don’t sound the alarm warning them that it’s a matter of life or death, they will die and it will be your fault. I’ll hold you responsible.

Ezekiel 3

Are you sensitive enough to the Holy Spirit you could hear the warning? If you heard it would you sound the alarm?

Mary Sellers

Friday, March 7, 2014

Born This Way (Lady Gaga's Unintentional Point)

Hello!

   We all remember the buzz about the whole A&E/Phil robertson thing. Do not let me lose you here, however. This IS NOT an "I stand with Phil" campaign blog. Though as a believer I agree with Phil's statement, I want to focus on the buzz because there have been some responses to said event that have peaked my interest. Actually, to be a little more accurate, some of the buzz has broken my heart. I implore you to read this blog, both believer and non-believer, with an open heart and mind because I believe I have a word directly from the Father. 
   We live in a very complacent society. A society based off of the "entitlement" to live in an area of comfort where we are not challenged. We live in an America where we want things our way, yesterday, and if WE don't agree then YOU'RE just simply wrong. Thus we lash out at those who believe differently. If we take christianity out of the equation, this is still NOT the America of equality that our constitution speaks of. If one exercises their first amendment rights, then the opposing party lobbies against that person and justifies why they shouldn't believe that way. This is what secular America has become without the influence of christianity. When you add Christianity back into the equation, you have the exact same situation. My point is simply this. We as a country have slipped into this "entitlement" mindset and completely over ridden every aspect of ALL peoples rights as Americans and believers.
    However, this whole situation that has arisen is from one man that expresses his beliefs, doing so in a biblical way, and clearly stating that there is no judgement from his end because final judgement comes from "The Almighty". According to the word of God he is completely right. Now I said that this wasn't an "I stand with Phil thing" right? Why am I seemingly coming to this mans defense then? The answer is simple. I am a believer in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. According to my beliefs as a christian and what I have read in His Word, I agree whole heartedly with Phil Robertson. 
    One of the biggest buzz feeds that have stemmed off of this whole situation are the sins that Phil listed off: Homosexuality, Beastiality, Adultery, ECT. Of course the LBGT community had a field day with the homosexuality part and didn't like that he compared their sins to other such "vile" things. The fact of the matter is simply this. These things, plus many more, are ALL sin. There is no large or small sin. The bible teaches in Romans Chapter 3:23 that "all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God". Anything that separates us from the law of God is sin. As a testament to the grace and mercy of our Father through the spotless sacrifice of Jesus, God acknowledges that no man is perfect in that same verse. He knows we are imperfect. He knows we mess up on a daily basis yet He still forgives us. 
    Lets move on to the title of this blog. If you've stayed with me this far you're going to love the ending of this. Lady Gaga has been a very outspoken representative of the LGBT community. One of her award acceptance speeches even included the statement, "I'd like to thank God and the Gays". In true Lady Gaga fashion, the title track to one of her most recent albums was "Born This Way". It was referring to everyone, including homosexuals, saying, in summation, you're just fine the way you are because you were born exactly the way that you are. Whether you are gay, nerdy, fat, slim, ugly, or beautiful you were born this way. The opening line to the song is, "It doesn't matter if you love him or capital H-I-M. Just put your paws up 'cause you were born this way, baby". I don't believe I have to explain what she meant by that but to further prove my point she also says, "A different lover is not a sin. Believe capital H-I-M". 
    Lady Gaga has stumbled upon a massive, unintentional point in her own "it's my life and I'll live it however I please" kind of way. You see, we were all born with homosexual tendencies. We were all born with adulterous tendencies. We were all born with glutenous, selfish tendencies because we were ALL born into the world; into the flesh. Romans 5:18-19 says, "through one man's trespass, judgment came to all men, for by one man's disobedience all were made sinners." The one man Paul was writing about in this verse was Adam. Because Adam and Eve sinned, we were ALL born into sin. We were all born separate from God. We are born into a sinful nature. We are all born with a CHOICE. 
    You see, God sent his only son to die for all of the sins of mankind. We CHOOSE to be apart from God. We choose to sin and we allow ourselves to sin. There is a difference between struggling with sin and out right giving into sin. The beautiful part is God died for every part of it. You may try to raise the argument that a preacher who falls to sin is no better than a murderer actively living in sin. Ill end that quickly. You are right! Gods grace is sufficient for all. The difference falls into the intentions of the heart. The bible specifically says that our righteousness is as filthy rags compared to the glory of God. In other words, we are worthless, sinful human beings. When we make a decision to accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, however, His blood is applied to our lives and washes away our sin. We are saved by the Grace of God through the blood of Jesus. When his blood is applied to our lives, God no longer sees our sin. The bible says that "He chooses to remember them no more". He no longer sees us but Christ within us. I'll use this example. When Moses was confronting Pharaoh to let the children of Israel go there were several different plagues that hit the city of Egypt. The plagues hit because Pharaoh would not let them go. The final plague was the plague of the passover. The children of Israel were given instructions to put the blood of a spotless (perfect) lamb on the door frames of their houses. In seeing the blood on the doors, the spirit of death that was sent to kill the first born son of every household would pass over that house and the son would be spared. Pharaoh didn't do this. Thus his firstborn son died because the spirit of death did not see the blood on the doors. The significance of the blood on the doors was a mark given by God to spare the children of Israel. Everyone, including Pharaoh, was given the opportunity of life. However, because they did not have the blood of a perfect lamb on their doors, death came to those households. On the other hand, those that did were spared and life was given to the household. The same thing applies to the blood of Jesus. The best way I can describe it is in Ephesians 2. It says, "And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience - among whom we once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ- by grace you have been saved". We were dead in our sins. We were born into death. However because of the blood of the spotless sacrifice, Jesus Christ, we are now alive and will live for all eternity. Because of the blood of Jesus on our lives, death has passed over us! So yes, we were "born this way" but we do not have to "stay this way". This is something we as the church need to show the lost. AwakeningLIFE's slogan is to be a LIFE giving church, a church to the unchurched. Humility is the way we will reach the lost. Showing them the TRUE love of Christ, not this condemning nature the "church" has made it into. Showing them that God does not demand perfection. That as the unchurched walk through life, they understand that when you sin, or in the middle of their sinful life, the grace of God is there for you. All you have to do is come to Him, repent, accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and live in freedom. There is no big or little sin, but there is equally no one person better than the other. That is how the lost will be saved. I've seen it so much here lately. God has opened my eyes to see the hurt, the pain, the addiction, and the oppression. I see a cloud over our county but within the heart of every person they are all saying the same thing. They are all searching for something more. They don't even know what their searching for....but it's CHRIST! So lets strip ourselves of all religion and show the people the real Jesus by showing them the grace of the Father and not a condemning, perfection demanding God. I love you guys!!!! Thanks for reading!!!
-Kyle Bolton

When It's Hard to Forgive Yourself { And Why You Need To }


For weeks I had walked around with shame and guilt over a sin that I had repented of months earlier. I had hurt others and I prayerfully sought their forgiveness from me after I had sought forgiveness from God. But afterwards as the weeks and months went by I experienced some very dark days spiritually. I felt lonelier than I had ever felt in my life. Tears came without any notice, I felt no joy, and thoughts of the sin I had committed were forever circulating through my mind. As I was discussing this one night on the phone with my closest friend, she asked me a question.
 One that seemed to shed light on all the darkness I was feeling:

 "Have you forgiven yourself?"

 I thought about it, and after a pause, said "No". Forgiving myself was not something I had thought of. Was that biblical? When she asked that question something stirred in me, I felt relieved almost, because without being aware of it at all, I suddenly felt and knew in my spirit this was what was causing my dark days. I had not forgiven myself. And we're all familiar with this scripture:
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.--Colossians 3:13
But does that mean myself as well? Yes! The root word in Greek for the phrase "one another" ,which is Heautou, also means yourself.

 And then it all made sense to me. I had not forgiven myself and by not forgiving myself I was: carrying around bitterness, disgust, anger, self-loathing, and I was opening the door for Satan because when I carry unforgiveness (whether it be against me or another person ) in my heart I'm shutting the door on Christ.  And Paul said to forgive others as the Lord forgave you. And the Lord had forgiven me, who did I think I was? Failing to forgive myself was denying the gift of God that is grace through Jesus.
  
Just as I have gone to God in prayer to forgive others, I went to Him in prayer to forgive myself. Only through Him was I able to let go of that sin as well.
Please understand that forgiving yourself is not done by making excuses for what you did, you don't make excuses for a person you forgive, neither should you for yourself. But just as when we forgive others, we do so because we are called by Christ to, because it brings peace when you let that bitterness go, because how can we have the love of Christ in us as we proclaim to if we can't extend the same mercy to others that He showed us?-- the same applies for forgiving ourselves. Any spirit of unforgiveness, whether against yourself or another person, is not from God.

And the Deceiver?  He would have you never forgive yourself. He loves to remind you of what you've done, he loves to whisper not-so-sweet nothings into your ear. He wants you to feel so unworthy that you never darken the doors of church again and eventually cease to talk to God at all. 
 Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs. 2 Cor. 2:10-11

This is why you absolutely must! First because we are called to, and secondly because unforgiveness gives Satan a foothold.

I know because I've been there, those days of my own unforgiveness were some of the darkest ever. 

What about you? Have you ever struggled to forgive yourself for something you've done? Even after everyone else had forgiven you?



This post was written from my heart.  I'm thankful for the opportunity to write here  on Awakening Your Day now for the next three months!! I also have a personal blog, www.aheartlikehers.com , where I share my thoughts and experiences on growing in grace.


 



Thursday, March 6, 2014

I Wonder..... What If.

Philippians 4:8-9 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.


Do you ever lie awake at night with your mind spinning in a thousand different directions? Spending hour after hour with the "I wonders". I wonder why she said that. I wonder what will happen at work tomorrow. I wonder if I will ever find a mate. I wonder if I will ever have a baby. I wonder how I will be able to pay my bills. Maybe it's the "What ifs". What if I don't find a job. What if I never find a mate. What if something happens to a loved one. On and on the "I wonders" and "what ifs" go, until it's morning and your exhausted!!

The truth is, this is an attack of the enemy to keep you living in confusion and doubt!! Confusion and doubt are not from God!!!! Whenever you start to see the "I wonders and what ifs" coming on, remember the words of Paul to the Philippian Church. We shouldn't be thinking about "I wonder and what if". We should be thinking on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and worthy of praise. As Christians, we should be thinking of these good things. You see, if we buy into what the enemy tells us it can prevent us from receiving from God, by faith, the answer to our prayer. In Mark 11:23-24 Jesus doesn't say "Whatever you ask for in prayer, "wonder" if you will receive, He says "believe" and you will receive. That leaves no room for confusion and doubt!!!

This devotion was written from the heart of Beth Reed. My prayer this week is that when you feel the "I wonder and what ifs" coming on, you will remember the words of Paul.

I would love to hear your comments.
email - beffie221@gmail.com
FaceBook - Beth Reed
Twitter and Instagram - beffie221


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Being a Worker For The Lord

 1 Corinthians 3:9-"For we are God's fellow workers, we are God's field, God's building."

Every afternoon on my drive home I see the same lady walking home from work. I've seen her walk while the sun is shining, the rain is pouring, & the snow drifting through the air. From the hottest days to the coldest. She is a determined worker. No matter what, she will be at her job. Why can't Christians be like that for The Lord? We need to be a determined worker. One who let's their light shine for the ones around us. The Lord doesn't need lazy Christians. The world is not going to get any better. We, as Christians, have got to fight & work for The Lord. I know we get discouraged & we think it's doing no good. We think it's pointless, I get that, but we can not give up!! We have to keep working toward the prize that's waiting on us. We need to work harder than we ever have at our regular job. The Lord will recognize everything you do. Come on people, let's show Him we love Him enough to put in some overtime! The paycheck we receive on Friday will never amount to the paycheck that Jesus has waiting on us!! 

This devo was written by Kasey Brown 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sweet Tooth Problems

Thus says the Lord God, "Be not rebellious; open your mouth and eat what I give you. Eat this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it." Then I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. Also He said to me, "All My words that I shall speak to you, receive in your heart and hear with your ears."
Ezekiel 2:8, 3:3,10


          Human beings have insatiable appetites. We crave sweets, carbohydrates, salty snacks, and carbonation, just to name a few. We seek out what we crave, filling ourselves to satisfy our tastebuds. We rebel against healthy choices and refuse to refuse those things which damage our bodies the most. We give in to our cravings time and time again because food tastes delicious, and we want so badly to satisfy our flesh. 

          When God came to Ezekiel the prophet, Ezekiel had no idea what was in store for him. God was about to download a vision into Ezekiel the likes of which had never been seen before: living creatures with wings and many eyes on wheels, a man who seemed continually enveloped in flame but wasn't burning, a field of scattered bones re-joining their skeletons and re-growing flesh. God was planning on using Ezekiel as a great vessel for His word and vision, but before He began, He prepared Ezekiel's heart. He told him, "Do do be rebellious. Eat what I give you."

         In a vision, God presented Ezekiel with a scroll and told him to eat it. Ezekiel did and responded with, "It was as sweet as honey in my mouth." I believe God was reinforcing in Ezekiel the truth that there is nothing better than His word. He knew Ezekiel's job would be difficult, and God wanted to show him that what He had to give Ezekiel, His word, was desirable and good.

          Unfortunately for us, we are often so busy satisfying our flesh that we don't take the time to notice how sweet God's substance is. Just as we rebel against making healthy choices for our bodies, we also rebel against making healthy choices for our spirits. When we constantly give into the desires of our flesh despite what our bodies actually need, we are teaching our will that it's okay to do that in every area of our lives. In opposite, the same is true: when we ignore what we need spiritually, we are also giving ourselves permission to ignore what we need physically. 

          Self-control is a hard concept to practice in modern America, but the Bible tells us in Galatians that it is one of the fruits of the Spirit. This means that when we commune with the Holy Spirit and feed our spirits, demonstrating self-control will become easier and easier. Understand that self-control physically and spiritually go hand-in-hand. We create habits in one area that transfer over to the other areas in our lives. Instead of reaching for that second cupcake (or maybe even the first,) make a conscious choice to fill yourself with the sweetness of God's Word. Over time you will find that the gloriousness of a cupcake (or a slice of pizza or a Coke) truly does pale in comparison to the deliciousness of the Bread of Life.




This devotion was truly written by the heart of the Holy Spirit, as anyone who knows me also knows my deep love for baked goods...and food in general. However, I can say my God has gotten my attention. Maybe I'm not the only one He is speaking to.
 Megan Forsyth Bolton

Monday, March 3, 2014

Take out the Trash


We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5 NLT)


You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV)


This week at our Saturday morning prayer meeting, Pastor Ant asked everyone to pray that we would have a deeper passion for God as a church body and in our own personal lives. As I was praying, I felt the Holy Spirit continually saying to take out the trash! I heard it over and over again! Take out the trash, take out the trash... God is saying if we desire to go deeper with him and desire a bigger passion for him then we need to empty ourselves (and our church) of and any garbage that we may have in our lives!! This is anything that is not pleasing to God! 

Unforgiveness, secret sin, bitterness, jealousy, worry, doubt, fear, depression and anxiety, self-righteousness, pride, arrogance.... All of these things need to GO if we want our spiritual lives and our churches to function properly!! If you are holding on to them, pray that God will empty you and fill you up with more of him!!! Submerge yourself in the Word! Spend time in prayer and fasting until there is nothing left to keep you from getting closer to God!! 

Don't forget, once the trash is gone, IT IS GONE!! We don't go digging in the nasty garbage looking for what we've thrown away!!! 

Maggi Sellers

Sunday, March 2, 2014

You Never Lose What You Give to God

"I asked the Lord to give me this baby, and he has granted my request. Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.” And they worshiped the Lord there. (1 Samuel 1:27, 28 NLT)

Hannah. What a beautiful story she has. A beautiful, faithful, inspirational story is that of Hannah?! What faith and persistence she had!

She sought God's face. She prayed fervently and asked Him for favor in having a child. I'm sure there were times when she felt helpless. But she kept her faith and God rewarded her for that. Such a precious reward is that of a child and one that can only come from God (and don't you ever believe otherwise!)

But the other part of Hannah's story is when God did answer her prayer, she carried through with her promise. She gave him back to God! What a sacrifice that must have been for her! I can't even comprehend how it felt for her when she took her freshly weened, brand new baby boy to the temple and left him there. It must have felt like ripping her own heart out! But she did it just the same. What a strong and true woman of God!

So how appropriate is it when Christian parents today decide to dedicate their children to God. Granted, it is a very different ceremony than that of Hannah. I mean we don't drop them off at church to be raised by our pastors. However, it is still a very important act. It is a public profession saying that we, as parents and caregivers, vow to teach them who God is, what God wants for them, and who they are through Christ Jesus!

I don't believe it can be taken lightly, just like any other vow we make to God. It should be meaningful and memorable. It's a beautiful thing to give your children back to God after He has so lovingly given them to you. Keep in mind that it carries responsibilities with it. But don't let that stop you! You lose nothing in giving your kids to God. As a matter of fact I think the same principle applies to this as it does when Jesus tells us I'm Matthew 16:25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. What you give to God you get it back in more abundance than you can imagine!

Thanks for reading! I would love to pray for you or talk with you! Chassidyhester@gmail.com
GOD BLESS YOU!!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Friends, Family, and Fun Little Nephews....

     As I sit here pondering what to write about in my first blog entry, the concept is very simple. It's almost kind of trivial and may seem like a small cop out. However, my heart is far from mediocrity in the matter. My heart is quite full of joy, happiness, and peace. My heart is overflowing with love. I am 100% at peace with where The Lord has brought my life.
     As I sit here writing this blog, my beautiful wife is wrestling around with my sweet little nephew, Micah. My best friend Adam Harris is sitting directly to my left munching down on some Little Caesars Pizza. Over a slice of Italian Cheesy Bread, I am typing away on my laptop. You may think, "this is quite a bit of distraction". Any other day, you would be right. Today isn't one of those days, however. Today is a day where all of these things come alive in my heart and my spirit fills with joy.
      As I listen  to my best friend, Adam Harris, make his pizza sound absolutely amazing, sarcastically spoken of course, and I hear my wife singing to my nephew, it leads me into another thought process. It leads me to think of the fact that I am a worship pastor now, that I have a completely new church family, how me and Megan haven't been going to AwakeningLIFE very long, but it feels like we have been there for an eternity. It leads me to think about the people there and how since day one me and Megan have felt so welcomed by them. It leads me to think of Paw Paw and Gran Gran and how every Sunday after service paw paw comes and gives me a hug and says, "It sounded great this morning son". It makes me think of the seemingly infinite wisdom that comes  from both of them. I could literally talk to them for hours, and I've had the opportunity to do that on a couple of different occasions, not necessarily for hours, but long enough.
       Within these same thought processes, I think about the sheer attack of the enemy on mine and Megan's life. The last couple of months have been ridiculously crazy. I know the enemy did not "kill" my mother, but he sure has given my mind a fit about it. I've had feelings pop up that I haven't struggled with in years. I've felt depression, anger, and even been extremely prideful at times. I haven't had these emotions in years! I know that may seem like a "bold" statement, but these are things Holy Spirit revealed to me would be the downfall of myself a long time ago. Therefore, I have made a genuine effort to stay away from those mindsets. I've been successful, praise God, simply because it has been Him that has delivered me from those snares of the mind.
         There has been such a clash of emotions ever since me and Megan took leadership of the worship team. Trust me when I say,  I have felt like the biggest failure since this whole thing started than I have ever felt in my life. It has felt like a cloud hovering over me and weighing me down. The good news is, however, I know exactly where those mindsets come from. Whether or not I actually am failing miserably at being a worship pastor (HAHA!!!), I know that all these thoughts are bred by the enemy and I have rebuked them and cancelled those agendas and agreements put forth by the enemy. He has NO POWER!!!!  
         Things may seem hard right now, circumstance may be nipping at your heals. Our God says to count it joy though because through this He will be glorified. How do we know? Jeremiah 29:11 says, "for I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans for you to prosper not to bring you harm. Plans for a hope and a future". The Lord has the say in the end if we will let Him. When we realize the moments that are the hardest are simply attempts of the enemy to tear us down, then we can count it all as joy. Be joyful in everything because God has a plan and His word never returns void. We have a HOPE for a FUTURE!
          Grasping this revelation will bring you back the peace you haven't felt in what seems like an eternity. Grasping this will revolutionize your faith and your worship. I know that to be a fact because it did me. Now, I can look at my beautiful wife holding my sweet nephew as they sleep on the couch and see not only a sweet picture, but the divine evidence of the beauty in my life. I can reflect on my church family and start adding together all the things I stated earlier and see that I am in the absolute center of Gods will for mine and my family's life. The enemy has attacked so hard because he has seen the things that my flesh couldn't see. He has caught a glimpse of where we're going. So I can boldly say that I count every attack as joy and every stumbling block as joy because I, having aligned myself with the spirit of God, have gained revelation of what God is doing in our lives. I absolutely love my life right now and wouldn't trade it for anything. "Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon your waters, wherever you would call me." That is my prayer, but understand, when you pray that prayer and you move to deeper waters, there will be deeper attack. Count it all as joy though because that just means you're moving in the right direction. That is my revelation from Holy Spirit for the week. It's funny what thought processes can come from simply watching your friends, family, and fun little nephews. :) Love you guys!